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Trip Reports 2017-10-25-Kotumu

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This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper Volume 89, no 11, December 2017

Kotumu from the sea or Kotumu the hard way M

25 Oct 2017

The plan was to ascend the true left branch of Kotumu Stream and mount a spur between Kotumu Stream and a waterfall stream to the east via a steep grass clearing, a route used by the leader on a couple of trips. This time however the grassy clearing had morphed into a large unstable slip, a large eroded gully and steep crags. The major erosion was after 2013 as the aerial photo shows the grass, low scrub and no erosion. By continuing further upstream we managed to scramble out into low bush and up a narrow exposed spur between two streams. From there we struggled through scrub, up steep grass slopes and broad-leaved snow tussocks (Chionochloa conspicua), stopping for lunch at 550 metres perched in the tussock with a good view of Palliser Bay, the waves and wind patterns. At this point forward and up was only option worth considering as descending the exposed grass slopes was not an attractive option. Hauling ourselves up through the sloping chest-high tussock for 150 metres was a good upper body workout; we then followed goat trails through bush and tussock to reach Kotumu summit at 13:30. Then descent to the Orongorongo River and we completed the nine-hour trip down the river bed. RC

Party members
(leader and scribe).Robin Chesterfield (leader and scribe), Trish Gardiner-Smith, John Hill, Peter Smith, David Ogilvie, John Thomson

Page last modified on 2017 Dec 16 22:05

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